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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  May 14, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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recruit russian spy. james blonde. drag-niet. putin on the ritz. that's it for "the lead." i leave you in the incomparable hands of wolf blitzer in "the situation room." mr. blitzer. all right, jake. thanks very much. happening now behind the snooping into reporters' phone records the attorney general of the united states says it was prompted by one of the most serious leaks he has ever seen. one that in his words put the american people at risk. russia is booting out a u.s. diplomat accused of spying and displaying what it calls his disguises, his cash, and other tools of the trade. angelina jolie reveals her very difficult decision opting for a double mastectomy to try to beat the odds on breast cancer.
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already taking heat for the benghazi response and the the irs targeting of conservatives the obama administration today faced growing outrage for collecting the phone records of a.p. journalists. then the attorney general eric holder dropped a bombshell saying the subpoenas were in response to an extraordinary leak that posed the great threat. he said to the american people. let's go straight to our crime and justice correspondent joe johns for the latest. >> reporter: wolf, the justice department's sweeping subpoena of media telephone records was just highly unusual especially in a town like washington d.c. where you know the exchange of sensitive information is purely part of the fabric. but the attorney general made the case today that the leak of sensitive information that started this investigation was extraordinary in and of itself. the top law enforcement officer in the country says a leak of sensitive information was so
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serious that the justice department was justified in issuing a sweeping subpoena for telephone records from reporters and an editor of the associated press over a two-month period last year. >> i have to say this is among if not the most serious within the top two or three. it put the american people at risk. that is not hyperbole. it put the american people at risk. trying to determine who is responsible requires very aggressive action. >> holder says he removed himself leaving it to a deputy to sign off on the controversial record hunt. >> i've been interviewed by the fbi in connection with this matter and to avoid a potential appearance of potential conflict of interest and make sure the investigation is seen as independent i recused myself from this matter. >> reporter: the government is trying to find out who leaked to the associated press about a mole in yemen's al qaeda affiliate helping western spy
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agencies, a mole who helped foil a plot to bomb airliners. it was such specific information there were concerns it had damaged foreign intelligence sources and an ongoing operation. republicans wondered out loud whether the white house leaked it. in a letter to the associated press deputy attorney general james cole did not confirm the investigation was related to the thwarted bomb investigation but did say the investigation was opened in may of last year and that such disclosures can risk lives and cause grave harm to security of all americans. the letter said that the department undertook a comprehensive investigation conducting over 550 interviews and reviewing tens of thousands of documents before going after the associated press phone records. on top of all that, in that heated news conference at the justice department today, holder announced a federal investigation into alleged irs targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. the smell of scandal has given
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this administration suddenly the appearance of having been thrown off balance, wolf. >> joe, what a story. thanks very much. even as he was forced to explain the a.p. subpoenas the attorney general today ordered an investigation, a separate one, of the irs targeting of conservative groups who saw tax-exempt status. lawmakers on both sides are furious over that scandal. a major hearing is scheduled for friday. reporters tried to get a jump today questioning the acting irs commissioner up on capitol hill. watch this. >> hi, mr. miller. can you tell us why you never told congress that you had -- >> i don't have a comment today. thank you, guys. i'll be here on friday. >> sir, senator hatch says you purposely misled him by not informing him about this. why is that? >> he is not able to do an interview now. he will be back. >> commissioner, why didn't you
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tell the truth when asked directly by congress? >> we'll talk on friday. >> let's bring in our chief political analyst gloria borger. gloria, what do all these controversies, the irs, the benghazi, the a.p. investigation, what do they do at least in the short term to the president's second-term agenda? >> i spoke with a senior administration official today who said things are still ontrack as long as john mccain and lindsay graham don't turn against us on immigration reform that is moving along in committee. but that's their spin, wolf, and they're obviously sticking to it. here is the reality check to this. these issues taken together have become an all consuming political sinkhole and they know that. the one valuable commodity at the energy of the president's d- top advisers. and this just has sucked up all of their time. and so they understand that nothing can really break through
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until they get most of these things out of the front page headlines. now, the same senior administration official said to me today are that they believe that the irs issue is one that they will be able to dispose of pretty quickly. there are going to be congressional hearings. but i was told that the president, quote, intends to deal with the irs in a quick and meaningful way. we don't know what that means. does that mean, and this person would not specify, that heads will roll? as you know, most of the irs is civil servants except for the couple of top positions, so we'll have to see what is meaningful as far as the white house is concerned once we get that report on what really occurred. >> we're beginning to see all of this begin to have another effect, not a good one, on the people's faith in government. >> well, and that's really the big issue here, wolf. as you know, people don't trust the government these days to take out their garbage. but this is probably going to make it even worse. we went together and put
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together some numbers about trusting government and how it's been eroded over the years. you see back in the time after jfk was assassinated trust in government was at 77%. even during watergate, wolf, 36%. people didn't trust the government then. post 9/11, people saw the first responders and they began to realize, wait a minute. those people are employed by government. health care. look at that. 18%. and now it's still at a very low level. if i had to wager, i would say to you that trust in government is going to continue to go down particularly because of this irs controversy. i mean, when people see that groups were targeted unfairly by the government bureaucrats, it doesn't make you feel any better about your government. >> how worried should republicans be that they might over play their hand? >> they're not worried at all that they're going to over play their hand. you've got more than a half dozen congressional committees here but, you know, the pendulum
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tends to swing. republicans believe that the public will be on their side but they're going to have to make a decision here, which is do they allow this to affect what they do on the second-term agenda? do they just go, use these issues, smaller government, for big win in the mid-term elections which is after all what they're going after, or do they work with the president at the white house? on something like immigration reform, they also believe that is in their self-interest. do they in effect compartmentalize one issue from another? we don't know the answer to that. >> now there is a justice department investigation potentially a criminal investigation into the irs issue, it starts relatively tame but you don't know where those investigations wind up. >> that's right. don't forget, wolf, it was republicans who said to this white house, you know what? there are too many leaks out of the white house and you guys better look into those leaks so the justice department looked into those leaks. whether they've done it badly or
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not is another issue but the justice department has looked into those leaks. now republicans are investigating the justice department. >> a bunch of officials will be hiring lawyers pretty soon because they'll be questioned by the fbi and other u.s. law enforcement officials. >> absolutely. >> thanks very much for that. gloria borger. up next, with the obama administration beset by a string of controversies and facing a string of investigations i'll speak with congressman elijah cummings the senior democrat on the house oversight and government reform committee. wigs, dark glasses, and a bundle of foreign cash. russia orders a u.s. diplomat out of the country saying he was packing all the tools of the spy trade. ♪
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we've just received the report, the final report from the treasury department's inspector general for tax administration. they have done an audit of the irs targeting conservative political groups, tea party organizations, other conservative organizations and it's damning. the report is very, very damning. among the headlines that the irs began using what they call inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status and they make specific recommendations. earlier you heard the attorney general of the united states saying that he's beginning an investigation into what's going on. dana bash our chief congressional correspondent is checking into all of this going through this lengthy audit by the inspector general of the treasury department. she is going to have a full report momentarily. stand by for that. just a little while ago by the way, i spoke with congressman
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elijah cummings of maryland, the senior democrat on the house oversight and government reform committee. i asked him first about the collections of those associated press phone records that the justice department has been engaged in. >> it is alarming to me, the fact you're talking about over 20 folks in two months and getting all kinds of information with regard to a.p. i'm concerned about freedom of the press and first amendment rights. at the same time i listen to what eric holder had to say about all of this and he says there is a criminal investigation going on. as a lawyer, wolf, i can appreciate that. if he is talking about life and death and americans possibly being harmed, i think i just don't know. i think that we need more -- i still think we need more information, wolf, as to -- i
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know he is very clear and i know eric holder well and i know he is a very credible person, but i've got to see more. because, again, that -- this is chilling as far as the press is concerned, and i think that all americans understand that we've got to protect and defend our democracy at every level and as i say, in our committee all the time, this is our watch. we have a duty to make sure we guard that constitution and our democracy. so again, i'm hoping that more information will come out. i understand the u.s. attorney for d.c., washington, d.c. is handling this matter. eric holder said he has recused himself. so, hopefully, we'll get some answers and at the same time not jeopardize the criminal investigation. >> let's move on to the -- another investigation that eric holder announced today potentially a criminal investigation into the irs and its decision to go ahead and target conservative political
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groups, tea party groups, groups that had the word "patriot" or "patriots" in their name. there is now a formal investigation under way to see if any laws were broken. congressman, based on what you know, do you suspect laws were actually broken? >> yes. laws were probably broken but at the least there have been some improper actions on the part of the irs. if it is not against the law we need to create some laws to make it so. no matter what the organization is, i don't think any organization should be singled out for some treatment that's different than what is demanded by the law and regulations. i would say the same thing if this were the nacp or whether it was a conservative group. that does not matter. again, we have to guard our constitution. we have to guard our rights. when people are treated
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unfairly, i've got a problem with that. i don't c w is. and so, again, what i think we can do, some things ourselves. i understand the ways and means of the hses going to be, the committee is going to be having a hearing on -- come friday. i'd love for my committee to have a hearing on this. and i want to hear what mr. shoeman has to say, the former director. i want to know what the acting director has to say because i have great concerns about what they know -- what they knew, when they knew it, and what, if anything they did about it. whether or not they were honest with the congress. i want to hear all of that. but i got to tell you this is one of the most alarming things that i have ever seen and i'm very concerned about it. we got to get to the bottom of it. wolf, we got to do it in a bipartisan way. >> i agree totally. the other question out there and we don't know the answer at this point is if it goes outside of the irs, if there were others -- other agencies, divisions,
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officials at the white house who may have been involved in this decision, you would presumably want to investigate all of that as well. >> i want to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. and, wolf, this is not a new standard for me. i've said to our committee over and over again that we must operate almost like a federal court and we must be impartial but we must make sure that we focus on getting the facts, getting all of the facts, and then concentrating on reform. that's what it is supposed to be all about. >> yesterday i had darrell issa the chairman of your committee on my show. we spoke extensively about the benghazi investigation. was it a mistake in your opinion, you know a lot about this, for thomas pickering, admiral mullen, to avoid directly questioning the secretary of state hillary clinton about what she knew at the time about what was going on in benghazi? >> well, pickering said that he did have a two-hour conversation
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with hillary clinton toward the end of the investigation. he claims that he had already gotten a lot of information and he had what heded. i can't say whether it was a mistake. that's why i've asked chairman issa to bring in pickering, ambassador pickering to us so that we can have an open discussion with regard to this report. keep in mind that chairman issa has said it on national tv that the report was incomplete. he's made all kinds of accusations. we just got a letter today within a matter of minutes ago from pickering begging, literally, for a -- an opportunity to come before our committee. he says in his letter that the integrity of the board has been criticized, and he says that he wants to have an opportunity to come before the committee and
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present his case. i want him to have that. i've asked chairman issa to do that. we had accusations made. but, again, chairman issa has not responded to my request. basically what he said, issa, that is, has said he is going to have pickering and mullen go to some private place with his staff and do an interview. that's not good enough. i want them in our hearing so we can hear from them directly. >> what issa says also is that he wants to do a private q & a session with pickering and mullen with the staff as you point out before bringing them to an open session of the hearing. he says, that's the normal way of doing business. witnesses meet privately with the staffs first and then they go before a public hearing. is he wrong? >> wolf, give me a break. we just had, when we had the three whistle blowers come before us, who i welcome, i was glad they came, one of those whistle blowers, a fellow names thompson, we didn't even -- we
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knew nothing about him. there was no interview, not by the democrats. these interviews are usually done jointly. he came and we did not have an idea, not a skin tilla of an idea of what he was going to say before he sat there. he made accusations and i'm sure that he is testifying, going to testify under oath and testify truthfully but a lot of the things said go against our military, our highest ranking members of our military, our cia, and this pickering and mullen. again, remember what i said a few minutes ago. i want the whole truth and nothing but the truth and fairness. just give me all the information so i can make a decision as to what's going on. but more importantly, so that we can address the fact that we have security deficits in our embassys that we need to address as soon as possible. we've got four americans, sadly, who died and it pains me.
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i want to make sure that that does not happen to anybody else under our watch as best we can do. you cannot do that -- but, wolf, you cannot do that unless you have complete information. >> right. look, if you don't learn from your mistakes you're bound to repeat them down the road. and as you're absolutely right. four americans are dead. let's make sure it doesn't happen again to the best of our abilities. that's why you have the responsibility of oversight and review and that's a critically important part of the u.s. government. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. up next, we've just obtained the inspector general's report on the irs targeting conservative organizations. we're going through it right now. dana bash is up on the hill. we'll have details. it's explosive. that's coming up. and russia is booting a u.s. diplomat out of the country. he is accused of espionage, spying and displays what it calls his disguises, cash, and calls his disguises, cash, and other tools of the trade.
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happening now, wigs, dark glasses, and a large bundle of foreign cash. that is the spy arsenal russia's counterintelligence agency says it found with a united states diplomat now accused of espionage in moscow. could the limit for determining when a driver is legally drunk be lowered from 0.08 to 0.05?
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angelina jolie reveals she underwent a double announcement. all right. we just received the inspector general's report from the department of treasury on the irs going ahead and auditing conservative organizations. in the united states. it is pretty damning. dana bash our chief congressional correspondent has been going through it. i read the summary and it's got some specific details in there which are going to be quite controversial. >> that's right. you know, we knew this was going to be as you put it damning and it certainly appears that way. we just got it. it is pretty lengthy. i want to read for you and the viewers what is summed up what they found the irs did wrong. the irs used inappropriate criteria that identified for review tea party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. it goes on to talk about
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ineffective management. they allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months. it resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications and allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued. we've done some reporting over the last several days about what some of those unnecessary information requests are like donor lists, membership lists, and also the delays which we are told by even a lawyer for one of these tea party groups today is still going on. so that is sort of the nut of it and provides in black and white the information that congress is going to take and run with when they have the first hearing on friday in the house and that even the democratic-led senate said they'll continue to investigate. >> i know it is a long report. you haven't gone through all of it yet, dana. do they name names? who came up with this crazy idea? who is responsible? how high up did it go? when did people know and were other officials outside of the
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irs involved in this decision? >> it appears to be just focused on the irs. i can answer that question. in terms of the names i can't answer that for you yet. one thing i do think is really significant is right in the letter that the inspector general wrote, the memo kind of summarizing it, it is clear that he is troubled that even right as we speak the irs doesn't seem to get it. that is sort of my summary. doesn't seem to get it saying that the irs is disagreeing with some of the findings. for example, saying that the criteria used to identify the applications they don't believe that the inspector general was right to condemn them for it. they say they are absolutely right to do that. the other thing is that the inspector general says that the irs thinks that these issues have been resolved but they say no, absolutely they have not been resolved because corrective actions they recommend in here haven't been implemented and, most importantly, as i just mentioned to you, there are still cases that are opened, that have been open for a very
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long time that haven't been closed, either the groups haven't gotten the tax-exempt status they asked for, in some cases maybe two, two and a half years ago, and the inspector general says in a very blunt and terse way that the response is not complete until those cases are completed. >> it's interesting they say, and you allude to this, that they made nine specific recommendations to fix this problem and the irs says they're only going to implement seven of those nine recommendations. two of them they don't want to implement, right? >> that's exactly right. this goes to the heart of what we're hearing from members of congress and what really we saw in some of the early reporting that we've done, the timeline with some of these dates and facts that the inspector general gave to members of congress. for example, the idea that this -- a woman named lois lerner who at the irs is the head of the tax-exempt division, she seemed to, for lack of
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better way to say it, have her head in the sand. she didn't answer questions from members of congress who were very specific over a period of years, wolf, years, trying to get information because they were hearing from constituents that they were being -- the irs was dragging its feet on applications. that is a big issue because we look at the overall questions about leadership at the irs. now these are career people at least when we're talking about someone like lois lerner. the official who is going to testify on friday is a political appointee, the acting commissioner and they've already called for his resignation because of the point you made. they simply feel they're not answering congress's calls, not getting the fact that what they did was a mistake and they are not implementing the recommendations to fix it. >> we heard from the attorney general today. he has launched his own justice department investigation into the irs to see if any criminal laws were broken by these irs officials who targeted these conservative political organizations for scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. i'm sure that sends a chill down
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the back of a lot of irs officials who are now going to have to retain attorneys when they're questioned by justice department and fbi officials. >> absolutely. the attorney general revealed that in a press conference today that it's not just a question of the irs acting inappropriately or perhaps as some republicans and some democrats question for political motivation but whether they broke the law. that is a whole different ball game as you said. they have to as we say in washington lawyer up. they have to figure out how to defend themselves and the other thing that might be coming as well is in addition to prosecutions potentially from the government, lawsuits from outside groups feeling that they want damages for the delays that they got for missing in some cases the political year in 2012 because their applications for the status were delayed so long. >> some were delayed for three years as this report says crossing two election cycles.
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all right, dana, thanks very much for that report. we'll have much more in the breaking news when we come back. our political analysts are standing by and are preparing to weigh in. ari fleischer and paul blogola. russia kicks out a diplomat accused of spying. we'll have details. what was going on? stand by. baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care, for you or your family. to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is.
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democratic strategist paul blogala, former bush white house press secretary ari fleischer. both of you know these kinds of investigations. they start relatively modest. you never know where they wind up. how concerned do you believe ari the obama administration should be right now about this formal inquiry that the attorney general announced today that would begin? >> well, i think from the point of view of the white house worrying anybody might be targeted in the white house i would say there is nothing to worry about on that front. in terms of the damage it is doing to the faith in government and legitimate fears conservatives now have the irs is after them, this is a very serious issue of fail femalfeas. it is going to underline a lot of faith in government. >> inappropriate criteria was the phrase, paul, the inspector general used that they used inappropriate criteria for a long time, sometimes spanning over two election cycles, three
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years, to delay giving legitimate tax-exempt status to conservative groups. how big a problem is this? >> well, it's enormous. ari and i have been in different white houses in different settings and i think ari is exactly right. there is no sense that the white house was involved. our own jessica yellin is reporting and i'll read her tweet here that the irs report finds target criteria was not influenced by any individual or organization outside the irs. jessica goes on to tweet that she bets the white house is latching on to that. i bet jessica is right. the larger problem though, ari is right here. the liberal philosophy is the underpinning of it. that government is good. the government can do good things. look at the president's second inaugural address he gave a few months ago. this abuse of power by the irs goes right to the heart of that. people like me, you know, we love to mock the tea party saying they wear a tin foil hat, conspiracy theorists.
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this time they appear to be right. this is outrageous and does undermine people's faith in government. >> let me put a finer point on it. here's what's coming next. the irs is in charge of an awful lot of the implementation of obama care. the irs has been given enhanced powers under obama care to look at people's returns to determine who should get what type of subsidies. this is going to undermine a lot of already troubled implementation of obama care. i predict he invests the next legislative fight, the president is going to want to defend the irs and is going to be in a very weak position to do so. >> do you agree, paul? >> i do. i will say the vast majority of people who work for the irs are honorable people. they do a job that is essential to a free society and yet of course we all hate it. and keep in mind it was only a few years ago in austin texas an irs office was attacked by some nut in an airplane who crashed into the irs office. so i would not want anybody to start to denigrate career professionals 99% of whom do a
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fine job but it is especially damaging when this happens in a democratic administration. i know life is not fair. it was jfk a democratic president who said that. in the bush administration the irs was aaccused of targeting the naacp. it wasn't as big a deal as this because the fundamental philosophy that my people are putting out is that government can be good and you should trust government to do certain things like health insurance. though we've had scandals like this in republican administrations i think it is more damaging in a democratic. >> let me get you both to weigh in quickly on eric holder saying that the leaks that the associated press received endangered american lives. that's why they took this extraordinary step to go ahead and try to see which reporters are calling whom and phone calls from the associated press. does what -- does this justify the extraordinary measures on the press? ari, i'll start with you. >> only eric holder knows and the people at the justice department know. their obvious determination is
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the answer is emphatically yes. eric holder the attorney general said today this is the most if not one or two of the most serious leaks he's ever seen of national security information. you know, wolf, the department of justice is not naive. they don't go seize a.p.'s records thinking no one is going to notice. they did it knowingly and they did it because they must be on to something. this is what the white house has to fear because what they're on to is that somebody within the administration, we don't know who, we don't know if it was d.o.d., state, the white house, somebody leaked information damaging to national security. that's a crime. that's the bigger issue here. the attorney general is investigating a crime potentially committed by somebody in the administration. that would scare the white house. >> was this justice department snooping on the associated press legitimate? >> we don't know yet. from the reporting i've seen it strikes me as overbroad i have to say. i don't think you should ever mess around with the freedom of the press but ari and i having been white house officials know there are times the government has to keep secrets in order to
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keep the country safe. this tension between freedom and security has been at play for all of our history and we're seeing it playing out here again. but i will note our republican friends on the hill were the ones calling for an investigation into the leaks and now they're the ones calling for holder to resign because the investigation was too aggressive. i think the republicans are trying to have it both ways. >> we'll leave it at that point and continue this conversation down the road guys. thank you. much more in the next hour. coming up on breaking news. also, the actress angelina jolie opening up to the world revealing why she underwent a double mastectomy. the details of her shocking announcement coming up. and russia kicks out a united states diplomat accused of espionage. up next we have details on the wigs, the cash, the special technical devices that russian intelligence officials claim he was carrying.
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russia is kicking out a united states diplomat accused of espionage. cnn's jill doherty reports. >> reporter: russia says he was caught red handed. ryan christopher fogle a political officer at the u.s. embassy moscow who russia says is a cia spy detained while trying to recruit a russian intelligence officer. the fsb even released video and photos showing a man with fogle's i.d. and what the foreign ministry described as a
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spy arsenal -- wigs, technical devices, a lot of cash, and a letter, a copy of which was given to the russian media, offering a downpayment of $100,000, up to a million dollars a year for long-term cooperation with extra bonuses if we receive some helpful information. and instructions on how to open a new g-mail account to contact the cia. russia's foreign ministry summoned the u.s. ambassador to moscow michael mcfall. the cia isn't commenting. the state department wouldn't budge on any details. >> we can confirm an wasser was briefly retained and released. >> this recalls details of the last russian spy scandal three years ago featuring anna chapman and a ring of russian spies who tried to gain access to u.s. decision makers. the new spy scandal comes even as russian and u.s. intelligence
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services have been cooperating on investigating the boston marathon bombing. in a youtube video released by rt television an fsb agent says the officer fogle was trying to recruit was involved in fighting terrorism in the north where russia says alleged boston bomber tamerlan tsarnaev met with extremists. the russian foreign ministry warned tuesday, such provocative actions in the spirit of the "cold war" do not contribute to building mutual trust. but former u.s. ambassador to moscow james collins, who dealt with spy scandals more than once, says they can be disruptive but the relationship usually goes on. >> does this mean we're back at the cold war? no. i don't think so. >> reporter: you know, wolf, the timing on this is very interesting because after all remember during the boston bombing the russians provided information about one of the
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alleged bombers and then recently they've been criticized for not telling everything they know. so it's possible that the fsb could be hitting back at that criticism. wolf? >> brian todd will have more in the next hour on this developing story, jill. thanks very much. also coming up, angelina jolie reveals she underwent a double mastectomy. and will lowering the blood alcohol threshold for drunken driving make a difference? we're putting it to the test. ♪ . . (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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a deadly blast in southern afghanistan claims the lives of three coalition troops. lisa sylvester is here.
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she's monitoring that, and some of the other top stories. what happened? >> nato was confirming the deaths, and nash abilities of the three service members. the blast comes a day after a car bomb exploded in southern helmand province killing three soldiers from the republic of georgia. larry page said he suffers from a condition called vocal cord paralysis. his voice became hoarse years ago after a cold and his vocal cord never fully recovered. the same thing happened in his second vocal cord. he's recovering and able to do everything at work, at home, though his voice a bit softer. doctors have not determined the cause. and prince harry toured some of the most storm-ravaged parts of the jersey shore today, with governor chris christie, and shaking hands with first responders. governor christie presented the third in line to the british
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throne with royal tweets. he said it was the best way he knew of to welcome the prince down the shore. we will have much more on this in our next hour. i know prince harry, he was here in washington, all the women, they were all lining up hoping to get a glimpse of him when he was at the capitol. >> he looks like he's losing some serious weight, governor christie. great for him. i'm proud of him. in the next hour, we'll have much more on the breaking news we're following. the irs audit reports cnn has obtained it. it is damning. dana bash is combing through for more details. [ male announcer ] this store knows how to handle a saturday crowd.
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the actress angelina jolie revealed today she underwent a double mass tech toke. elizabeth cohen has details. >> wolf, i think it's safe to say that everyone was shocked when they read this article by angelina jolie. that she really does have a lot to teach women about how to be empowered patients. angelina jolie revealed that after watching her mother die of ovarian cancer at the age of 56, she decided to go out and get a genetic test to see if her mother had passed on a bad gene. and indeed, she had. i carry a faulty gene, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. my doctors estimated i have an 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer. jolie made a big decision, to
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surgically remove both her breasts. she wrote, my chances of developing breast cancer have dropped, from 87% to under 5%. and this might be just the beginning for jolie. doctors generally recommend that women in her situation have their ovaries removed, too. angelina got tested. should all of us run out and get tested? >> i believe that certain women should get tested. my great nightmare is that a large number of women just simply because they've heard this news, without thought, are going to go out and want to get tested. >> experts say you only need to get tested if you have a significant family history of ovarian or breast cancer. without that history, there's little reason to suspect a faulty gene. when a test shows show a mutated gene, a double mastectomy is just one option. some women choose to keep their breasts. after her mastectomy, jolie got breast reconstruction with
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implants. she says she did it all for her six children. they can see my small scars and that's it, she wrote in the "times." everything is just mommy, the same as she always was. and she knows that i love them and will do anything to be with them as long as i can. angelina jolie noted how expensive this test can be. it can cost upwards of $3,000. which obviously is a big problem if you don't have insurance, or if you don't have very good insurance. one of the reasons it's so expensive is only one company makes this test, because they hold the patent on the gene. now, interestingly, the supreme court is looking at this. in the next month or so, they're expected to rule whether it's constitutional to patent something that's found in all of our bodies. wolf? >> elizabeth cohen, thanks very much. to learn more about the genetic testing, angelina jolie had, and whether it might, repeat, might be right for you, visit patient. happening now, the irs faces
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a criminal probe for targeting conservative groups. the attorney general defends obtaining reporters' phone records citing what he calls a leak that endangered american lives. russia accuses an american diplomat of espionage and backs up its claim of a bizarre display. i'm wolf blitzer, we want to welcome the viewers in the united states and around the world. world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- an irs scandal, a full criminal probe. we're getting new information, the attorney general, eric holder, announced earlier today that a joint investigation with the fbi and the internal revenue service, which admits targeting conservative groups with extra scrutiny is now under way. the cnn has also -- cnn has just obtained the treasury department's inspector general's report on what the irs did. and it isn't pretty. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash is
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working the story for us. dana, i know you're going through the inspector general's report. it is very, very damning. >> it is. pages and pages of damning information, and analysis of what the irs did. the gist of it is that the inspector general says that inappropriate criteria to identify tea party and other groups were used. ineffective management at the irs, allowing this criteria to be in place for 18 months. and it resulted in substantial delays of applications, and allowed unnecessary requests to be issued. and this report, if you can believe it, it just part of the irs's troubles. never mind that the irs targeting tea party groups was inappropriate. the attorney general wants to know if it was criminal. >> i have ordered an investigation to be begun. the fbi is coordinating with the justice department to see if any laws were broken in connection with those matters related to
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the irs. i think as everyone can agree, those are if not criminal, certainly outrageous and unacceptable. >> the irs practice of singling out tea party affiliated groups appears to have gone well beyond agents in the cincinnati, ohio, office that handles tax-exempt applications, which the irs first suggested. jordan's law center represented 27 tea party groups that had trouble getting tax-exempt status from the irs. he shared with us several lengthy questionnaires his clients got from irs offices in california, and even washington, d.c. which he calls excessive. could it be that your clients shouldn't have tax-exempt status, that they are primarily doing political work and not welfare? >> the irs has not come to any of our questions that would be in the part of the normal process. these were all delays relating to the questionnaire. >> he said just yesterday a tea party client in tennessee trying to get tax-exempt status for two
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and a half years, got this letter asking for even more information. and the questions the irs is asking troubles lawmakers. lists of members and donors. congress al republicans call that unprecedented. in this irs questionnaire, a tea party group is asked to provide names of donees and grantees. that even makes mild-mannered members of congress furious. >> how chilling is it for an organization to get a letter from the irs asking for its membership list. and that has nothing to do with the decision on whether or not tax-exempt status should be granted. >> what does that tell you? >> well, it raises questions whether there's a political motivation here. >> congressional investigators have now learned the scope of this is larger than the irs indicated last week. 471 organizations singled out for special scrutiny.
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compounding the irs's problems, lawmakers feel misled by its leadership. >> this was either one of the greatest cases of incompetence that i've ever seen, or it was the irs willfully not telling congress the truth. >> acting irs commissioner steven miller was informed of the targeting last year, but never told congress. >> how about answering our questions? >> on capitol hill today, he refused to answer reporters' questions about why. now, wolf, miller is going to be one of the witnesses on friday, when the house is holding a hearing. they're going to have a lot of information to go through from this inspector general report. one of the questions that susan collins raised in that piece is, is what everybody is asking, whether this was politically motivated. part of the answer is in this report, the inspector general said agents did not consider the public perception of using politically sensitive criteria when identifying these cases. but then the inspector general also says it could not
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specifically determine who had been involved in creating the criteria. but it does say it wasn't the higher ups, it was kind of first line officials. one other question that you asked before, which is a very important question, whether or not anybody outside of the irs was involved in creating these criteria. was it political, did it come from the white house, especially during a campaign? the inspector general said no. all of these officials stated that the criteria were not influenced by any individual or organization outside the irs. wolf? >> at the same time, though, eric holder did say he's launching his own justice department investigation, that's separate from the inspector general did, to see if there were any criminal laws that were broken potentially. and that could be significant. >> oh, absolutely it could be significant. now, he said very clearly he's not sure, obviously, if any crimes were committed. but that's why they are investigating. and that is a far different issue from whether or not anybody could potentially get a slap on the wrist or even fired.
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somebody losing their job is one thing. getting prosecuted by the federal government for breaking the law during your job is quite another. and that's something that we're obviously going to be looking for. >> let's hope none of these officials lie to federal authorities during questioning, because that is a crime in itself. dana, thanks very much. another major case exploded into headlines, only 24 hours ago, when we learned that the justice department secretly obtained phone records from associated press reporters. it was part of an investigation into leaks the attorney general said put american lives at risk. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is joining us. barbara, you're digging into this story. what are you learning? >> you know, wolf, the experts will tell you that the obama administration has sought to prosecute more leaks to the news media than all other administrations combined. but the justice department says in this matter, with the
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associated press, it had no choice but to take a tough approach. attorney general eric holder said american lives were put in danger by a leak to the associated press. a source tells cnn's jessica yellin the story was about a classified cia operation in yemen to stop a potential attack on a u.s.-bound airliner. >> i have to say this is among, if not the most serious, it is in the top two or three, most serious leaks that i've ever seen. >> reporter: last may, the associated press citing confidential sources reported al qaeda in yemen had an advanced bomb to be carried in underwear similar to a failed christmas 2009 attack. the a.p. reported this time, the cia secretly moved in and seized the bomb before the alleged bomber picked a specific target or even bought an airline ticket. that report has led to a criminal investigation over who leaked the story.
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the a.p. monday revealed the justice department secretly obtained office and home phone records for several of its employees. holder is unapologetic. >> it put american people at risk. that is not hyperbole. >> reporter: the u.s. had several secrets it wanted to keep. the bomb was designed by this man, a master of al qaeda bombmaker already held responsible for the 2009 underwear bomb, and for explosives in printer cartridges being shipped to the u.s. in 2010. and this time the alleged bomber was actually an agent. secretly working for the saudis. with a british passport, he could have easily entered the united states. he was able to slip away before his cover was blown, but the effort to get the bombmaker was over. and he is still at large. mark said, who has defended
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clients, said the news media should be ready for more snooping by the government. >> more people are relying on e-mails, cell phones and other electronic devises that are, frankly, traceable. it's no longer the days of woodward and bernstein meeting deep throat in a parking garage. >> i have to tell you, wolf, we've all received a statement tonight from the associated press responding to the justice department contention that lives were put at risk, in part. and that a.p. statement says, quote, we held that story until the government assured us that national security concerns had passed. indeed, the white house was preparing to publicly announce that the bomb plot had been foiled. so tonight, wolf, the a.p. pushing back very hard against the case that the justice department tried to make today. >> the story clearly not going away. barbara, thanks very much. we're going to get live reaction, a key congressman who had been investigating this, and a bunch of other issues, jason
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is standing by live up on capitol hill. he's even suggesting that when it comes to benghazi, he said there was a cover-up of the highest magnitude. and perhaps, perhaps, the president could be impeached. we'll go in-depth on that. stand by. russia moves to expel a u.s. diplomat it accuses of spying. but there are serious questions about some of the evidence. and a new push to lower the legal drinking limit for drivers. how different will it be? we put it to the test. to eat. then rest. to fuel the metabolic cycle they were born to have, purina one created new healthy metabolism wet and dry. with purina one and the right activity, we're turning feeding into a true nature experience. join us at
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following three major stories that are developing, investigations up on capitol hill, including the benghazi investigation, the irs scandal that seems to be escalating right now, and the secretly monitored phone calls, at least they were monitoring who was calling whom, not necessarily taping those conversations. justice department doing that to
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a.p. reporters. perhaps president obama's handling of the benghazi terror attack could be an impeachable offense. congressman, tell us what you mean by that? >> well, thanks, wolf. good to be with you. it's not something i'm seeking. it's not the end game, it's not what we're playing for. i was simply asked, is that within the realm of possibilities, and i said yes. i'm not willing to take that off the table. but we want truth. we want to bring the people who perpetrated the terrorism in benghazi brought to justice, and have the president do what he said he would always do, and that is be open and transparent. thus far, the white house has not done that. >> here's what jay carney, the white house press secretary, said today in response to a question. listen to this. >> obama's being compared to president nixon on this. how does he feel about that? >> i don't have a reaction from president obama. i can tell you people who make those kind of comparisons need
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to check their history, because what we have here with one issue, in benghazi, a deliberate effort to politicize a tragedy. >> that's what he's saying about you, a political side show. simply trying to score political points. >> that's always the white house strategy, right? just demoralize and take down the messenger. we heard from three very credible witnesses, with more than 70 years of public service, saying that what happened on the ground versus what the white house would lead us to believe were two totally different things. the president himself said he wants to be open and trans pant, yet when the speaker of the house says, why don't you release the unclassified, unclassified documents related to benghazi, they won't even do the most basic of things. look, we have four dead americans. i can't imagine that the white house spokesperson would ever say that about the bombings in boston, for instance. where we had also four people killed by terrorism. of course we're going to look into this, wolf. it's the necessary thing to do.
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and to his credit, the ranking democrat on the committee, cummings, said we should have more hearings, more transparency. even the democrats who sat through the meeting are agreeing with this one. >> tom as pickering, the retired u.s. ambassador that led the internal state department investigation into what happened involving benghazi, he's written a letter today that we have a copyright here, to your chairman, darrell issa, saying he would like to appear before an open session of your hearing. you should give him an opportunity to explain what he and admiral mullen did. are you ready to do that? >> absolutely. i asked them personally in a letter back in february to come meet with the committee. we wanted to do it in a bipartisan way, we wanted to have informal discussions, we wanted to be able to see the documents they had. they refused to do it. now that we have credible witnesses come forward, suddenly they want to be open and transparent. but when we asked in february,
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they said no. despite what the two gentlemen who led that review stated to the rest of the world, they have not been open and transparent. they have refused to give us that information. of course we would love to hear from them. >> are you demanding, before there's an open session, they meet privately with you and other staff members to go through all of this? or are you just willing to let them come and testify? >> look, i'll work with chairman issa on this. we've been asking since february for them to come meet with the committee. and to share this information. i think it's fair that the united states congress be able to review the same information and talk to the same people that they were able to look at. i think the american people should have at least the unclassified documents released to them. that would be fair and transparent and consistent with what the president said. again, my challenge with the president is, what he does and what he says are often do different things. >> pickering in the letter to issa said he would like to appear at a public hearing to discuss the work of the board. let's see what happens, if there are any conditions you impose on
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him before that public hearing. let's talk a little bit about eric holder, the attorney general of the united states. he says that this investigation into the leak was required because it was one of the most damaging leaks in u.s. history, an a.p. leak that put american lives in danger. do you agree with him? >> the scope of this is what's stunning. the breadth of this net, the time that it went, the number of people that it covered, that's just not the american way. to have a chilling effect, which is the word we keep hearing again and again, of the government spying on the media is just not the way we do things in this country. look, if you have probable cause to go after somebody, and you want to go in and look at a very narrow scope, there are sometimes justification for doing that. but as it's been laid out, as we're hearing from the irs, and we're hearing from the attorney general and what they're doing with the media, and benghazi,
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every time you turn around, does anybody have confidence in this government and the way the obama administration is handling this? i don't. and i think most people are really raising an eyebrow and saying, that's just not the way we do things, folks. remember we were gk to be hope and change and do things differently? it's getting worse, not better. >> on the irs investigation, this inspector general report that just came out, among other things, they said it doesn't look like there was any outside influence on officials at the irs, to go target tea party organizations, other conservative political organizations. i'll read you the line. we asked the acting commissioner, the director, eeo and determinations unit personnel of the criteria singling out conservative groups influenced by any outside organization. they stated they were not influenced by any individual or organization outside of the irs. this apparently was done
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internally. do you buy that? >> well, it's something we're going to ask questions about. the idea they were targeting people out there. we seem to have been misled in congress. you go back and look at the testimony by the then acting director of the irs and what that person was saying to congress, did he or did he not have full knowledge of this. i think it's a question that we still need to ask and we'll dive into. i know the oversight committee just announced it will have a hearing next wednesday. i'm sure the senate will also be looking at that. i hope that that's the right answer, but something we're going to investigate. >> you supporter rick holder when he said there will be a justice department investigation to determine if any criminal laws were violated? >> oh, absolutely. the people who perpetrated this, the people who are overstepping this line, they should go to jail, wolf. there need to be consequences.
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what i've seen from the obama administration, oh, we'll just blame everybody, so nobody's eld accountable and there's no responsibility. if you yet to see anybody get fired in these type of things? going back to the gsa scandal? go right on down the line, we don't see people being held accountable, fired and some people need to be prosecuted and put in jail. >> four state department officials were fired as a result of the benghazi investigation. >> no, they weren't. >> they were removed from their jobs. >> no. wolf, let's have another discussion about this. because what happened with those four people, they led us to believe they were fired, but they weren't fired. they're still taking in an income. >> they're not working at the state department. >> i challenge you on that. >> all right. >> let's have another discussion about that. >> he specifically said those four individuals who had direct responsibility for the lax security at that consulate in benghazi, they were removed from their jobs, punished, penalized. but we'll check into it and get the specific information. >> that would be great. >> congressman, as usual, thanks
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very much for coming. >> thank you. a new spy scandal broke today. the russians say they caught a cia agent in moscow. how badly could this damage the obama administration's relationship with moscow. nom, nom, nom. ♪ the one and only, cheerios [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs.
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happening now, an american diplomat in moscow, accused of spying, but the russia evidence against them seems pretty strange. a new report on the irs that is targeting conservative groups. plus, why the fbi is taking another look at the death of a honeymooner on a cruise ship. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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cold war echoes in moscow, where intelligence officials accuse an american diplomat trying to recruit a russian agent to spy for the united states. but experts say they see some signs of a setup. cnn's brian todd is working this story for us. brian, what are you finding out? >> wolf, the russians put this alleged spy on display saying he was trying to recruit a double agent. they said what were his spy gadgets, intelligence experts are a little skeptical. picked up on the streets of moscow. videotaped wearing an almost comical looking wig, a man says is cia spy ryan fogel. the fsb says it detained fogel briefly, then handed him over to the u.s. embassy in moscow, where it says he held the position of third secretary. that embassy, its ambassador,
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not commenting. the cia's not commenting. the state department confirms someone at its embassy was briefly held, but otherwise -- >> we have no further comment at this time. >> reporter: russia's foreign minister said, quote, such provocative action does not build mutual trust. and they also displayed items they say fogel was carrying, wigs, a knife, dark glasses, envelopes. when we showed eric o'neil the pictures in the video, he said the man i.d.'d as foegel said this is not spy craft, this is stage craft. >> i doubt a highly trained cia operative is going to be walking the streets of moscow wearing a really bad blond wig. it looks like a setup to me. >> reporter: o'neil believes the russians likely planted the material for dramatic effect, maybe to stir up anti-american
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sentiment, or distract them from some other matter. he's an officer who took down fbi agent robert hansen. o'neil said the tactic of planteding material on a spy is a trademark of vladimir putin, himself a former kgb officer. o'neil said the u.s. tej agencies have much better disguise training than what was displayed in moscow. they said to depart only slightly from your own look. maybe a ball cap on backwards and sunglasses. o'neill said if the russians really believed foegel was recruiting a double agent, rounding up fogel was a mistake. >> they want to pick up the person he's recruiting. he's irrelevant. actually, it's better for them to keep him in place because they know that he is potentially a spy and they can watch him in order to catch the russian.
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>> o'neill said all the russians have done by detaining this man who they call fogel is ruin his career. the russians have deemed him to have to return to the u.s. it's unlikely he'll ever be able to work undercover again, even in another country. o'neill said different security agencies are all now going to know what his face looks like. >> there supposedly was a very strange letter that the russians released that fogel apparently it. >> another part of the russians' display there in moscow, written in russian, translated, starts with the phrase, dear friend, this is a down payment from someone impressed with your professionalism and would greatly appreciate your cooperation in the future. the letter offers about $100,000 up front, $1 million a year for what it calls long-term cooperation. o'neill kind of spotted this type of language in the letter and he said, that's the kind of letter is the way robert hansen and the russians used to write
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to each other. he was looking at those letters for a long time. he said the russians wrote letters that way. so they could have written that. >> very strange, the whole story. i know there's a lot more presumably that will be coming out. brian, thanks very much. let's get to the top story, the breaking news we've been following. the inspector general's report on the irs targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin has more. jay carney, the white house press secretary, he was grilled on this scandal at the press briefing over there earlier in the day. i know you were sitting in the front row. what is the white house's next move? >> wolf, right at this hour, the white house is reviewing that ig report. the white house isn't saying exactly what the president will do. but we got a few clues, in part earlier today, at jay carney's briefing, as you know, he made clear that the president remains outraged by these actions.
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and here's a little bit of my exchange with jay. we'll talk about it on the back side. >> we have seen the reports. as the president said, if the reports are true, he would consider them outrageous. >> the irs has acknowledged that there's wrongdoing happened. the president and this administration could agree? >> i think you heard the president say yesterday, if it turns out to be the case. and again, there's a lot of reporting, not all of it complementary. >> the irs personnel, it sounded like it was isolated. we now learned it was -- >> how could irs personnel be isolated. that could be the entire agency. >> but it touched the washington, d.c., office. >> jessica -- >> he said this is a broader problem. >> he's concerned by every report he sees on this. you can believe he is concerned by that. that is why he looks forward to finding out what the ig report says. but we cannot, and we should not pre-judge -- >> what are the consequences? >> we'll see.
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>> so, wolf, the question now is, precisely who will take a fall for this? you would expect someone -- are there just two people at the irs political appointees, but the irs report seems to finger other people inside management at a lower level. now, one thing we do know is that when there was another scandal inside a government agency earlier in the administration, at the gsa, people did lose their jobs. so we expect, and the indications have been there will be swift and serious action. we'll look for it, maybe as soon as overnight, wolf. >> really? that quickly? >> i don't know. we're just looking to see. we'll stand by. >> stand by, as we always do. thanks very much, jessica. the other major story, dogging the white house right now, the controversy over those talking points about the benghazi terror attack last september 11th. our chief national correspondent john king has been looking into all of this for us. so what's the danger here, if
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there is one, for the obama white house? >> wolf, we covered the white house together for a long time. yes, it's only may 2013, but 2014, the six-year presidential itch election, what they call it. you have benghazi, the blossoming irs scandal which has legs that could last for months. you have the questions about the department of justice. so you know now you have an emboldened republican party. you just heard congress marn chaffetz. you have a republican party keep asking questions, keep demanding witnesses. now a new criminal investigation, the hill wants more answers on that. you have an emboldened republican party. the flip side and the other risk is, now you're starting to see democrats say we want answers from the irs. we're not certain what's going on in this administration. we think the president should be tougher and act faster. if you get emboldened republican party and democratic drift, if they start drifting from the president, remember, the last two years of the george w. bush
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administration, rising opposition to the iraq war, katrina came along, the president not only had a problem with democrats, republicans wouldn't support him on social security. backed away from immigration. if that happens to this president, bad news. >> is it too early to start thinking of the political ramifications down the road, mid-term elections next year? >> yes and no. it's never too early. this is washington, after all. the president, a lot of his top officials met with law enforcement officials to talk about immigration reform. that's what they would like to be talking about. there was actually good news on the deficit today. the deficit down a little bit. it lengthens the period of time where they have to worry about the debt ceiling again. the good news is getting overwhelmed. you talk about that midterm election, what are those about? base, right? base politics. now they see a government, administration, yes, the white house will say it was the irs and independent agency, but the federal government targeting the tea party. who is that going to mobilize?
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the conservative base. we'll have more fights over the tea party. you have the justice department and attorney general who the republicans have long been at war now in hot water. it's early. this could all change by the time we get around to next year. but take an early look, you have an engaged republican look, and beginning evidence of some democrat drift now, the question is, does it become demoralized. if you get that combination, that's what we had in 2006. when democrats had a very good year, that set them up for 2008. >> the investigation starts u don't know where it will wind up. john, thanks very much. other news we're following, including the fbi. why is the fbi taking a second look right now at the mysterious death on a honeymoon cruise?
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are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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for qualified new students. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. new orleans police now say they have a suspect in the mass shooting that injured 19 people over the weekend. lisa sylvester is here, and has that, and more of the other day's top stories. >> wolf, they're looking for a
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teenager, and thanking people for releasing tips after they saw these pictures showing someone who seems to be firing a handgun into sunday's mother's day parade. scott is only 19. but he has been arrested in the past on firearms and drug charges. whatever you consider, one too many, at happy hour, prepare to subtract a few. the federal government wants to change the legal limit that can get you busted for drunk driving. right now, it's a blood alcohol level of .08%. the national transportation safety board wants all 50 states to lower it to .05. they say it will prevent 5 lun to 800 deaths a year. whether yand it is an incres to history and culture. authorities say a 2,300-year-old mayan pyramid was bulldozed last week, so that its limestone
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blocks could be turned into fill for roads. it's illegal and the contractor and landowner may face charges. but the mir a mid and contents are just gone. gone forever. so heartbreaking that that happened. but it did. it's gone forever. nothing they can do about it at this point. >> heartbreaking indeed. lisa, thank you. the new jersey governor, chris christie, welcomed a new vip to his state. we're talking about prince harry. came to visit. i am an american success story.
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i'm a teacher. i'm a firefighter. i'm a carpenter. i'm an accountant. a mechanical engineer. and i shop at walmart. truth is, over sixty percent of america shops at walmart every month. i find what i need, at a great price. and the money i save goes to important things. braces for my daughter. a little something for my son's college fund. when people look at me, i hope they see someone building a better life. vo: living better: that's the real walmart.
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how you work so hard without looking like you do. how you make every dollar stretch so far and keep your family so close. so we brought back the things you liked about jcpenney. gave you new things to explore. and now, we're happy to say, you've come back to us. ♪ we're speechless. except for two little words. ♪
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there's new hope for solving the mystery of a honeymoon that turned to heart break.
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cnn's mary snow is joining us now with details. what have we learned, mary? >> wolf, this was a case that gained widespread attention when it happened. you may remember the story of george smith, a 26-year-old newlywed who disappeared during a cruise in the mediterranean. early on his family was convinced he was murdered. now they're hopeful arrests will be made because a new set of eyes will be reviewing the case. it's been nearly eight years since george smith disappeared. he and his new bride were on their honeymoon on a royal caribbean cruise ship in july of 2005 when he vanished. the case had been handled by the fbi in connecticut where smith's family lives. now his parents and sister believe they're closer than ever to seeing justice served because the fbi in new york has agreed to review the case. >> yesterday we put a circle on the calendar, because we felt that that was the day that we had gone from a minus to a plus. and that we felt finally that we were going to get answers. >> a lot of evidence has been accumulated now.
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and i think that with a fresh set of eyes looking at that evidence, that arrests are in inevitable. >> attorney mike jones is the man who pushed for the fbi in new york to review the evidence. >> i've always believed that george was murdered. i thought there were too many facts that pointed to foul play as opposed to just an accident. >> there was a photo showing blood outside smith's cabin, and then jones says, royal caribbean turned over information, including thousands of documents as part of a settlement in the case. and a potential key piece of evidence, he says, which hasn't been made public is a video, showing four men on the cruise at the time, three of whom are russian-americans who had befriended smith. jones said the video shows the men the day after smith disappeared, joking about smith, after being questioned by officials. >> at the end of the video, one of the russian men stands up and says something to the effect, told you i was gangsta. that was in the context of george's death. that's a very incriminating
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statement. >> asked about the review by the fbi in new york, royal caribbean said in a statement, the company has worked closely with all law enforcement agencies, including the fbi, and remains readily available to them if there is any further inquiry into the matter. smith's family is determined to get answer sgls we just couldn't stop. we have to see this through to the end. nobody can do that to a human being. you wouldn't do that to a dog, what they did to him. >> the fbi in new york wouldn't say more beyond the fact it's reviewing the case. attorney mike jones said one of the reasons he pushed for the transfer to new york is because two of the targets in the investigation live in new york. wolf? >> mary snow, with that report, thanks very, very much. prince harry's u.s. tour, a far cry from a little bit of scandal that he had when he visited las vegas. we're going to catch up with the third in line to the throne. that's coming up next. we went out and asked people a simple question:
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how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪
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the jersey shore among the latest stops of britain's prince harry. he saw some of the damage of hurricane sandy did. his guide for the trip -- the governor chris christie. our royal correspondent max foster went along, as well. he is joining us with more. max, how did it go? >> reporter: yeah, gol wolf. it was interesting seeing him in new jersey with the governor. the governor keen to be seen with him, it seemed. great to be on the news agenda saying so much coverage of sandy at the time and not a lot of
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coverage of the rebuilding effort and it was a great opportunity he said to show prince harry an the media around what's been done there and interesting now as soon as prince harry left, they started to dismantle the roller coaster. prince harry, as well, praising what he saw as the american spirit on full display there. >> what are your thoughts on seeing the community here today? >> fantastic american spirit. everyone getting together and making things right. it's fantastic. really good. >> reporter: okay. we're having a problem with the sound bite there but basically talked, wolf, about the american spirit being alive in the community which is devastated by sandy and there were big crowds there and certainly they liked the attention he was giving them, as well. >> that sound bite, i apologize the sound bite, we didn't hear exactly what they said but it was pretty impressive, a good
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day for the governor and the prince. >> reporter: yeah. it was. and also, you saw the prince later on going to a trade event in new york which was being hosted by the prime minister so again an opportunity for the politicians to really bask in this attention that prince harry's getting on this tour. prince harry certainly thinks it's going well and playing baseball, not sure if it would be good or not and got a home run. so really wowed the kids in this sort of underprivileged area where he's encouraging sport and thought he was a great guy, down to earth and talked about how it's going to be a fantastic uncle and taking it on to the next level of the royal story and the royal baby coming in the summer. >> seems like a great guy, indeed. thanks very much. max foster with a good assignment for him. coming up, inexpected fallout to a foolish prank. ♪
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cnn's jeanne moos has the story of a tour guide who took the getting close to nature thing way too far. >> reporter: africa. a continent where a continent can jump up and join you. on safari, a place where a bike racer can get run over by an antelope. >> whoa! holy cow! >> reporter: and despite a concussion, live to laugh about becoming human road kill. but south africa's national park is not a place to expect to see a man charge an elephant and not just any man. an off duty field guide egged on by his mates. >> run at him!
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run at him! run! run at him! >> reporter: in this man bites dog story, the man seemed to have won until the video was posted and a backlash of elephant lovers began. most seemed to side with the elephant and i mean really side with it. what a pity the elephant didn't flatten him and his stupid whooping friends. fairly typical. though some didn't see the harm. what's the big deal? it's not like the elephant's going to go home and cry. the guide may have survived the elephant encounter but his job didn't. his employers, a well-known group of luxury hotels and camps, focusing on conservation, fired him. and then, brian masters manned up and accepted responsibility on the facebook page. i am so sorry this happened and i wish i could undo the
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stupidity of the act but i can't. he wrote of years spent as a guide getting people passionate about conserving these wild areas undone in 45 seconds of folly. coming forward with the public seemingly heart felt apology, a former guide addressed the elephant in the room. in this case, the elephant in the bush. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. i want to clarify. earlier in the program when i interviewed congressman jason chafitz he said four state department employees were punished in connection with the benghazi situation, not fired but still receive a paycheck from the government. we did some checking. we found out as far as the paycheck is concerned, for three of them, apparently they're still getting a government paycheck. but they are on administrative leave. three of them they were relieved of their duty. they still collect their government paychecks but three
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of them, a fourth official who was punished resigned. just want to clarify what happened to those four officials. we'll continue the conversation with the congressman in the days to come. remember, you can always follow when's going on here on twitter, follow me. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. up next, breaking news. cnn obtained a copy of a report that confirms that the irs deliberately targeted conservative groups and how the white house responded to that. plus, latest on the investigation in cleveland. cnn's exclusive details of missed clues to save those women sooner. and a major decision of angelina jolie. the surgery she may or may not have needed. let's go "outfront."